The “Who, What, Where, When and Why” of International Arbitration:
Who: All parties engaged in international trade should consider adding International Arbitration clauses to their contracts and resolving business disputes through International Arbitration.
What: International Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution that parties to international commercial contracts can agree to during contract negotiations.
Where: Commercial disputes involving International Arbitration may be litigated in a wide variety of forums worldwide. However, due to Florida’s enactment of an International Arbitration statute and Miami’s creation of a special court to assist in International Arbitrations, Miami is quickly becoming the world’s chosen forum for International Arbitration.
When: Now. In fact, International Arbitration is growing in popularity every day.
Why: Please read below for an explanation of why you should consider incorporating an International Arbitration clause into your international commercial agreements and resolving your complex business disputes through International Arbitration.
International Arbitration has become the preferred method of dispute resolution for parties engaged in international commerce. International Arbitration is also increasingly becoming the default method of dispute resolution included in contracts between the parties to international commercial transactions, and when disputes arise out of these transactions the parties often “litigate” in an agreed upon International Arbitration forum. The International Arbitration attorneys at Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph have extensive experience dealing with International Arbitration matters, and we routinely assist clients in drafting commercial agreements containing International Arbitration clauses, and litigate disputes arising from international commercial transactions in agreed upon International Arbitration forums.
Why is International Arbitration so important? International Arbitration gives parties to international commercial contracts predictability rarely found in international trade. Transactional documents increasingly integrate International Arbitration clauses, which establish firm rules and procedures governing every aspect of the dispute resolution process. Parties are also learning through experience that, unlike the locale of the parties, the dispute resolution agreement has no boundaries. One of the great benefits of International Arbitration is that virtually every part of the process may be agreed upon during the negotiation phase of the transaction – long before any dispute actually arises. Likewise, contracting parties can control the dispute resolution risk and avoid forums that may be nationalistic, ethnocentric, or xenophobic.
The International Arbitration lawyers at Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph regularly advise companies engaged in international commercial transactions regarding implementing International Arbitration clauses into their contracts. We help parties agree upon the locale for arbitration; specific organizations and rules to conduct the proceeding; the confidentiality of the proceedings; what and how information may be disclosed during the prehearing phase; how long the proceedings will last; who and/or how many arbitrators will decide the case (and the qualifications of such arbitrators); the time for the arbitrator(s) to render the award and the level of specificity which must be included in the award; the appellate rights, if any; the choice of language for the proceedings and award; the place(s) where the award may be confirmed and enforced; the currency of the award; the interest rates to be applied; and which party should be responsible for paying the arbitration costs and/or attorneys’ fees incurred in the proceedings.
In International Arbitration cases, one of the most important components of the process is the selection of the locale where the proceedings will take place. In 2010, the Florida Legislature enacted the Florida International Commercial Arbitration Act (“FICAA”), Fla. Stat. §684.0001, et seq., which is modeled after the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Arbitration Act (“UNCITRAL”). The passage of FICAA resulted in South Florida quickly becoming a leading forum for resolving matters involving International Arbitration. Florida has eliminated the barriers faced by foreign company lawyers in appearing in International Arbitration matters and related court proceedings, and now permits the active participation of foreign lawyers and law firms.
Recognizing the intrinsic value of being the preferred forum for international dispute resolutions, and thus a leader in international trade, the leaders of Miami presciently formed the idea to create a special court to facilitate the international arbitration process held in Miami. In December 2013, Miami-Dade County announced the establishment of the International Commercial Arbitration Court (ICAC), which is staffed by specially trained judges to exclusively address international commercial arbitration matters. Likewise, the Florida Bar rules were amended to allow lawyers from any country in the world to participate in international arbitrations in Florida without many of the restrictions placed by other states. See, e.g., R. Regulating Fla. Bar 1-3.11. Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph’s International Arbitration practice proudly welcomes and joins foreign company counsel to provide local assistance and representation in International Arbitration matters governed by the new Florida laws and occurring before Miami’s special International Arbitration panel.
Equally significant is the fact that the ICAC has built-in mechanisms to not only compel the arbitration process but quickly confirm the award. Adding to its attraction is the well-known fact that the South Florida community is replete with competent and qualified multi-lingual, multi-cultural arbitrators. Compelling South Florida even further is the demographic realities that Miami enjoys comparatively lower costs than its arbitral competition, and the convenience of Miami’s central geographic nexus to Latin and South America along with the infrastructure which affords efficient transportation to Europe and Asia.
The International Arbitration Team at Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph is staffed with experienced and deeply talented lawyers and professionals who are prepared to navigate the complex procedures surrounding international procedures. Our International Arbitration Team has arbitrated scores of cases in a variety of locales, and is fully prepared and ready to guide its clients through each phase of the process. Moreover, we are regularly called upon to collaborate with international lawyers who may need local experience to help facilitate their representation of clients in South Florida, and we zealously protect such relationships. Our International Arbitration Team stands ready to represent our clients not only in Miami, but all over the World.